Readers write: January 24, 2022 issue

January 19, 2022 | Opinion | Volume 26 Issue 2
(Graphic by Betty Avery)

Talking will hopefully lead to learning
Re:
“ ‘We might learn something’ ” letter, Dec. 6, 2021, page 8.

I definitely agree with Henry Bergen’s comments concerning our need to talk about vaccinations.

I am also “fully vaccinated” and have friends and family members who are not.

I do not see blaming and shunning the unvaccinated as a very positive approach since I see more infections lately being among the vaccinated.

I am challenged by the arguments of the unvaccinated and often must agree. I can certainly understand the scepticism that is present when we are told we should get two vaccinations to protect us from the virus, and then we are told that we need a third, and Israel is now suggesting a fourth vaccination.

I also find it interesting that the approach to the virus is often described as being a war. Treating it as a war means using military-like tactics, like bombing the enemy, rather than looking at other options to resolve the problem.

I see this approach also as a beekeeper and in other agriculture. When a problem occurs, such as a virus, a weed or some other unwanted agent, the approach that is often recommended is to apply a chemical—bomb—solution, rather than look at the underlying problems or use an integrated management approach.

Perhaps we are missing some other underlying problems in society that are contributing to this pandemic, such as environmental and social issues that need to be changed. Perhaps the virus is challenging us to reconsider some of what we consider to be “normal” in our present society.

Maybe we need to talk about this more, and hopefully we will learn something.
—John Coffman, Beamsville, Ont.

 

Spreading the love of God with our hands
In mid-November, the Fraser Valley was transformed by floodwater from Mount Baker and by massive amounts of rain. The amount of rain we saw caused lasting fear and disorientation in B.C. that was beyond my imagination.

But neighbours all over British Columbia and the world have responded with generosity. I’ve seen and heard prayers, encouragement and hands-on work from local friends and neighbours to stop floodwaters by sandbagging, and to cook meals and deliver them to families rebuilding their lives.

Now we continue the multi-year rebuilding efforts as community organizers and volunteers who serve and support our neighbours by rebuilding side-by-side. Churches and community organizations in Yarrow continue to look for the most vulnerable people with the greatest needs, to connect them with available resources.

In the last month, many individuals and congregations have reached out to me and to Yarrow United Mennonite Church, since I’ve been part of organizing and mobilizing volunteers, churches and community stakeholders to serve people most affected by the flood.

Yarrow churches and stakeholder organizations have established a partnership with the Chilliwack Community Service Flood Response Fund to ensure that all donated money goes to the people in need as directly as possible, with the least overhead costs. We continue to be neighbours helping neighbours through the same organizing efforts that catalyzed help at the beginning of the flood. Now we are transitioning into a sustained rehabilitation and rebuilding with larger organizations and volunteers from all over B.C.

My prayer is that all people in the Fraser Valley will hear stories from every cultural group, church group and neighbour that we learned to know through serving together. The love of God in Christ will spread in this, and I hope you get to celebrate that with us.
—Darnell Barkman, Yarrow, B.C.
The writer is pastor of Yarrow United Mennonite Church.

 

Reader lauds ‘a great issue’
Re:
Dec. 6, 2021 issue.

My compliments on the layout of the Dec. 6 edition. The idea of using a wrap-around photo that flows from the front cover to the back is an excellent one.

Overall, this was a great issue.
—Paul Thiessen, Vancouver
The writer attends Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship in Vancouver.

(Graphic by Betty Avery)

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